Guess what, kiddies! It’s time for another Throwback set. This one is actually pretty near and dear to my heart. Back in 2004, when I resumed collecting, I went to a card show at the Dulles Expo Center and saw these boxes that looked eerily like 1989 Upper Deck boxes only a little different, and had modern players on the 1989 Upper Deck design. I was perplexed. What could this set be?
It took some research, but I learned that it was the 2002 UD Authentics set, and I knew I had to have it, but the boxes were really out of my price range even then, so I set my desire for the set on the backburner until I thought I could afford them. I stopped collecting for a few years, then when I started back up, I knew I had to have them, but would buy them piecemeal rather than in a box. So far, my set looks pretty good, but I have a long way to go. I’ll be posting a needs list soon, but let’s delve into what I have so far.
The set is organized by team and begins in the AL West for some reason; that Fullmer card is #1. It stays mostly true to the ’89 design, though of course the team logos are different. Also annoying is the presence on the left-hand side of that “Traded to” or “signed by” text. It even crops up on cards where players are in the correct uniform. Poor decision by Upper Deck, but overall it only earns a slight demerit. The photography is adequate, but not spectacular, which I have to say kind of fits in with the 89 set in retrospect. Sure, it was innovative in a lot of ways, but a lot of that photography is pretty poor by today’s standards.
Anyway, the Fullmer card just gets a C for me, which is kind of disappointing given the bang that the 1989 set started with…which is another gripe of mine. The star rookies are in the back of the set, and are anything but “star” rookies. Given the great crop of rookies in 2002, they sure picked some duds. We’ll get to that in the near future, however.
That’s a little more like it on the photography side. One thing I liked about the 89 set is, flaws and all, it really captured the game of baseball rather than separating out the player. I wish I had some examples to show here, but the Kirby Puckett 89 card comes to mind immediately. And really, the design is so classic. I love the first base line motif, and they kept all of that intact without messing with it.
This card gets an overall B+ for the interesting photo. Too bad about Miguel’s career, though. I once had a PC of him, but had to give it up.
Speaking of liking players, I wish Sasaki had stayed in the US longer. I really liked the guy, but I guess he had something to prove coming over here, and once he did, he was done. Gone too soon. C- for the card, though. I really don’t like this photo.
One of the few players to be in the original 89 set and this set, I dig this Canseco. It really just sums up that era of sports card photography well. That’s just a classic Canseco pose, and well worth the price of admission. A on this card.
Incidentally, Jose had three 1989 Upper Deck cards. See them here.